Bird of the Week – Redheaded finch

THE redheaded finch is a highly common resident which is nomadic, with its numbers fluctuating greatly in time and space.

It is distributed from the KZN escarpment region westwards over most of the dry central interior, Botswana, Namibia and into Angola, excluding high rainfall areas.

These finches like open grassland with clumps of trees or small plantations, dry savanna, farmyards and cultivated fields.

They are found in pairs or small colonies when breeding, but are otherwise gregarious and sometimes found in flocks of hundreds of birds. They forage on the ground and drink frequently, dipping and raising their bill very fast. When disturbed, they fly to trees or fences. The flight is fast and undulating and in flocks, they are well co-ordinated.

The call is a nasal ‘chink chink’. They feed on seeds and insects.

The breeding season for these finches is mainly the winter months. The nest is a ball or pad of grass and feathers in an old sparrow nest. They lay four to six white eggs, with an incubation period of 12 to 14 days. Nestlings remain for 15 to 21 days.

There is no Zulu name and in Afrikaans, the bird is known as rooikopvink.





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